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Skelton and Batty given similar punishment for last weekend's European red cards

Four-week suspensions have been given to Bath's Ross Batty and Saracens' Will Skelton

Gallagher Premiership duo Will Skelton and Ross Batty have both received four-week suspensions following red cards during last weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup matches. 

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Australian Skelton was sent off by Nigel Owens in the 39th minute of Saracens’ dramatic win over Racing at Allianz Park for tackling visiting full-back Brice Dulin in a dangerous manner.

An independent disciplinary committee comprising of chair Roddy Macleod (Scotland), Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Craig Sowman (Ireland) upheld the red card decision, finding Skelton had made contact with Dulin’s head in a dangerous manner. 

Six weeks was selected as the appropriate mid-range entry point on World Rugby’s list of sanctions. It then determined the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions. However, the proposed ban was reduced by two weeks to four, leaving Skelton free to play again on February 24.

A disciplinary committee featuring the same personnel that dealt with the Skelton case handed out a similar four-week ban to Bath’s Batty following his sending off by Alexandre Ruiz in the 73rd minute of their game last Saturday at Ulster. Batty was carded after tackling John Cooney.

(Continue reading below…)

Rugby Australia are ‘going to go heavy’ on Will Skelton following Saracens salary cap scandal

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The committee upheld the red card decision, finding that Batty had made contact with Cooney’s head in a dangerous manner. Again, six weeks was selected as the sanction entry point and this was reduced by two weeks, leaving Batty free to play again on March 2.

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The difference in the date when the two players can return to play is due to Saracens having more matches in the coming weeks because of their semi-final fixture in the Premiership Cup, a tournament Bath have already been eliminated from. 

WATCH: Andy Goode and Brendan Venter didn’t hold back on this week’s The Rugby Pod as they discussed Saracens and the salary cap scandal

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Shaylen 1 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 7 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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